Looking at how the expansion draft will effect young players in this Sunday Ramblings….
We finally got the name: The Vegas Golden Knights. There may have been better options, but I'm a fan of both the name and logos of the next NHL team. The expansion draft will take place in June 2017 – how is this going to affect the prospects and young stars this website is dedicated to?
First of all – per the NHL's phrasing – "All first- and second-year professionals, as well as unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection". So no, you don't have to worry about your team losing anyone currently working their way up the prospect depth chart, or anyone who is just now making an impact.
HOWEVER – AHL games are professional games. So players who have required a bit of AHL seasoning are very much bait to be picked up by Las Vegas. Naturally its more likely your team will lose a current roster player than a prospect (I'll talk about htis issue later), especially given the pressure Vegas will have to be competitive right out of the gate. Regardless, here are notable prospects that aren't draft-exempt, and that NHL organizations will have to actively protect if they're worried about losing them:
Boston Bruins: Malcom Subban
Calgary Flames: Emile Poirier
Chicago Blackhawks: Ville Pokka
Colorado Avalanche: Rocco Grimaldi
Columbus Blue Jackets: Josh Anderson
Dallas Stars: Radek Faksa, Esa Lindell, Stephen Johns
Detroit Red Wings: Anthony Mantha, Tomas Jurco, Ryan Sproul
Edmonton Oilers: Griffin Reinhart
Florida Panthers: Seth Griffith
Minnesota Wild: Teemu Pulkinen
Montreal Candiens: Jacob De La Rose, Daniel Carr, Charles Hudon, Sven Andrighetto
Nashville Predators: Pontus Aberg
Ottawa Senators: Curtis Lazar, Ryan Dzingel, Chris Driedger
Pittsburgh Penguins: Derrick Pouliot
San Jose Sharks: Dylan DeMelo
St Louis Blues: Ty Rattie, Landon Ferraro
Tampa Bay Lightning: Slater Koekkoek
Toronto Maple Leafs: Connor Brown, Brendan Leipsic, Kerby Rychel, Josh Leivo, Frank Corrado, Viktor Loov
Washington Capitols: Stan Galiev
Winnipeg Jets: Joel Armia, Marko Dano
Like I said, most of these players have nothing to worry about. But the top players (Mantha, Rattie, Pouliot, Brown, Faksa, Lindell, Johns, Pokka, Anderson) all have varying chances of being drafted if their teams decide not to protect them.
Now for the less direct but more inevitable issue – your team is going to lose a player. What will be the domino result in terms of the propsect depth chart?
I am not a genie, so I can't predict with certainty who is going to be drafted out of each organization. In addition to this, team are going to be more scrambled than the breakfast I'm currently eating by the time the trade deadline and expansion draft come along. So what I'll do is identify teams at high risk of losing a certain position, and who will benefit:
Anaheim: Losing: Defence
Who does this help? Shea Theodore, Brandon Montour, Jacob Larsson.
At least one of this group was expected to be a regular this season, but none are receiving big minutes. With a top d-man out of the picture, one of these three will start getting serious playing time.
Buffalo: Losing: Winger
Who does this help? Alex Nylander, Justin Bailey.
If his brother is any indication, Nylander will be capable of having an NHL impact after oly a brief NHL learning curve.
Chicago: Losing: Defence
Who does this help? Ville Pokka, Gustav Forsling.
Not that playing third-paring minutes in Chicago amounts to much anyways.
Minnesota: Losing: Defence
Who does this help? Mike Reilly.
Hasn't justified grabbing a spot yet, but will have every opportunity if a spot opens.
Nashville: Losing: Forward
Who does this help? Kevin Fiala, Vlad Kamanev.
These two high-power prospects will get a shot at filling the void next season and will be leaned-upon producers when they do make the jump.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Losing: Goalie
Who does this help? Nobody…yet.
Tristan Jarry may prove to be a backup next year, but my money is on an outside candidate to fill that very desireable position.
Washington: Losing: Defence
Who does this help? Madison Bowey.
He will be a must-draft on leagues next year, and is already a must-own in keeper-leagues.
If you want to spend some time seeing fo yoursef who on your team could be protected or exposed – CapFriendly has this excellent tool for doing so.
As always, thank you for reading and best of luck in your fantasy leagues of all sorts!